Accession Number : ADA192368

Title :   The Staff: Another Dimension of the Operational Level of War.

Descriptive Note : Study project,

Corporate Author : ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA

Personal Author(s) : Davis, Floyd J

PDF Url : ADA192368

Report Date : 21 Mar 1988

Pagination or Media Count : 140

Abstract : Recently, much has been written about the United States Army's rediscovery of the operational level of war. It has been defined, redefined, and re-redefined by numerous authors. Hopefully, more and more professional soldiers are beginning to restudy old campaigns with an eye to what they learn about command at the operational level, rather than about what the conduct or outcome of the campaign happened to be. Many of these campaigns occurred during World War II, our largest and best documented war to date. One of Army's most successful organizations in that war was the Third U.S. Army, commanded by General George S. Patton, Jr. This paper discusses the actions of his headquarters during a very limited period of time--mid-December 1944 until the end of January 1945--the Battle of the Bulge. Plans for the upcoming Saar campaign had to be set aside in order to respond to the German threat in the Ardennes. This was quickly and efficiently done and Third Army turned 90 degrees to attack in a different direction. The actions of each staff section are examined to reveal what an army headquarters does at the operational level of war. The relationships between commander and staff are also addressed to illustrate how they must be synchronized in order to contribute to a leader's ability to fight a successful campaign. One conclusion drawn is that General Patton's selection of his staff officers had much to do with his ability to lead in the way that he did.

Descriptors :   *BATTLEFIELDS, *ARMY OPERATIONS, *MILITARY COMMANDERS, ARMY, ARMY PERSONNEL, EYE, GERMANY(EAST AND WEST), LEADERSHIP, THREATS, UNITED STATES, WARFARE, OPERATIONAL READINESS, GENERAL OFFICERS, MILITARY ORGANIZATIONS, TACTICAL WARFARE, STRATEGIC WARFARE, MILITARY INTELLIGENCE

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE